Alteration in neurotransmitters signaling in basal ganglia has been consistently shown to
significantly contribute to the pathophysiological basis of Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s
disease. Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter which plays a critical role in coordinated body
movements. Alteration in the level of brain dopamine and receptor radically contributes to irregular
movements, glutamate mediated excitotoxic neuronal death and further leads to imbalance in the
levels of other neurotransmitters viz. GABA, adenosine, acetylcholine and endocannabinoids. This
review is based upon the data from clinical and preclinical studies to characterize the role of various
striatal neurotransmitters in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. Further,
we have collected data of altered level of various neurotransmitters and their metabolites and
receptor density in basal ganglia region. Although the exact mechanisms underlying neuropathology
of movement disorders are not fully understood, but several mechanisms related to neurotransmitters
alteration, excitotoxic neuronal death, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, neuroinflammation
are being put forward. Restoring neurotransmitters level and downstream signaling has
been considered to be beneficial in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify more specific drugs and drug targets that can restore
the altered neurotransmitters level in brain and prevent/delay neurodegeneration.